Manfred Honeck was appointed the ninth Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in January 2007, and began his tenure at the start of the 2008-2009 season. Also beginning in September 2008, he became the Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague, and in 2007, assumed the post of Music Director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart.
Born in Austria, Manfred Honeck studied music at the Academy of Music in Vienna. An accomplished violinist and violist, Honeck spent more than 10 years as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. It is his experience as an orchestra musician that has heavily influenced his conducting and has helped give it a distinctive stamp. Honeck commenced his conducting career as assistant to Claudio Abbado at the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Vienna. Subsequently, he was engaged by the Zurich Opera House from 1991 - 1996, where he was awarded the prestigious European Conductor’s Award in 1993. In 1996, Honeck began a three-year stint as one of three main conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig, and in 1997, he served as Music Director at the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo for a year. A highly successful tour of Europe with the Oslo Philharmonic marked the beginning of a close collaboration with this orchestra, which consequently appointed him Principal Guest Conductor, a post he held from 1998-2004. From 2000 to 2006, Maestro Honeck was Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
As a guest conductor, Manfred Honeck has worked with such major European orchestras as the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Czech Philharmonic, and the Vienna Philharmonic, and in the U.S. with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to his post at the Stuttgart Opera, operatic guest engagements include the Semperoper in Dresden, Komische Oper Berlin, Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and Royal Opera of Copenhagen, as well as the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg and the Salzburg Festival. He appears regularly at Switzerland’s Verbier Festival and has also been Artistic Director of the "International Concerts Wolfegg" summer music series in Germany for more than fifteen years.